William D. Provine, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer | Delaware Innovation Space

Bill is a founder and currently serves as the first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Delaware Innovation Space in addition to an ex-officio member of its Board of Directors. In this role, Bill oversees all operations of the company and is responsible for its overall performance. Prior to joining the Delaware Innovation Space, Bill worked for DuPont where he led global operations for science and engineering encompassing DuPont’s open innovation practice that included oversight for DuPont’s innovation centers and regional laboratories around the world. He also has served in a variety of research, marketing, business development, joint venture, and manufacturing leadership roles in DuPont. Bill is very active in cultivating and advancing science across sectors and has served on numerous university, industrial, governmental, and scientific association advisory and management boards and committees.

Alex Dulin

Director of Scientific Operations & Research Facilities | Delaware Innovation Space

Alex currently serves as the Director of Scientific Operations & Research Facilities for Delaware Innovation Space. In this role, Alex is responsible for all aspects of the Delaware Innovation Space facilities and laboratory operations including ongoing scientific operations, building/ facility maintenance, and capital improvement projects. Prior to accepting this role, Alex received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Delaware and joined ExxonMobil Research & Engineering upon graduation.  In 7 years with ExxonMobil, Alex held a variety of roles within R&D Engineering, Laboratory Operations, & Process Research functions across multiple US research facilities. Most recently, Alex held assignments as the Laboratory Operations Engineering Team Lead for the Upstream Research Company in Houston, TX, followed by an assignment as a Process Development researcher located at the ExxonMobil R&D headquarters in Clinton, NJ. Over the years, Alex has worked on a variety of R&D programs, most recently supporting a portfolio of CO2 reduction initiatives in the carbon capture/storage & biofuels markets.

Mona A. Parikh, Esq.

Director of Business Development & Marketing | Delaware Innovation Space

Mona A. Parikh, Esq. currently serves as the Director of Business Development and Marketing for Delaware Innovation Space. She has spent the past two and a half years in both the hemp (as co-founder and president of a startup) and cannabis (as director of business development for the nation’s largest online cannabis telemedicine platform) spaces. Prior to then, Mona served as Director of Business Development for world-renowned design studio House Industries. In 2013, Mona helped galvanize Delaware’s startup ecosystem when she served as Managing Director of Start It Up Delaware, which, among other things, facilitated the opening of Delaware’s first coworking space and hub for entrepreneurs. For the past 7 years, she has taught as an Adjunct Professor at University of Delaware’s Horn Entrepreneurship. Mona earned her law degree from the Delaware Law School, and most proudly earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware.

Mike Braun

Facilities & IT Manager | Delaware Innovation Space

Mike currently serves as the Manager of Laboratory Operations. In this role, Mike is responsible for lab safety, chemical hygiene and facility maintenance. Prior to joining the Delaware Innovation Space, Mike spent several years working at the Experimental Station for Bayshore Transportation in a variety of operational roles. In prior roles, Mike maintained databases for Bayshore Records Management, and held a facility maintenance position with Chase Bank. Mike’s expertise includes all aspects of laboratory operations including building and laboratory equipment maintenance and IT system development and optimization.

Brianna Rafferty

Client Experience Manager | Delaware Innovation Space

Brianna currently serves as Client Experience Manager where she manages client support and community engagement and drives marketing and communications efforts. Brianna has a marketing background, having graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 2015 with a degree in Business Administration. Prior to joining Delaware Innovation Space, Brianna was the Director of Marketing for a startup company that combined technology with leadership development.

Pedro Amaral, Ph.D.

Laboratory Manager | Delaware Innovation Space

Pedro currently serves as a Laboratory Manager where he provides training, facility and instrumentation maintenance, safety and chemical hygiene. Pedro holds a dual BS in Chemistry and Interdisciplinary Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry/Materials Science. His expertise includes laboratory operations, synthetic chemistry and characterization of crystalline materials.

Hattie Duplechain, M.Ed.

Program Manager, Learning Experience | Delaware Innovation Space

Hattie currently serves as our Program Manager, Learning Experience, facilitating start-up programming and other training initiatives. She has over ten years of experience leading education and professional development.  Prior to joining Delaware Innovation Space, Hattie led incubator programming focused on innovation and social entrepreneurship for a global network of colleges and universities. Hattie holds an M.Ed. in International Education from Vanderbilt University and dual B.A. degrees in Communication Studies and English from Clemson University. 

Kyle McLaughlin, MBA

Program Operations Specialist | Delaware Innovation Space

Kyle currently serves as our Accelerator Program Operations Specialist, with over a decade of entrepreneurial, management, and hospitality experience. He most recently started a business consulting firm, Refresh Ventures, in order to bridge the gap between economic development and entrepreneurship. Kyle is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware’s Horn Entrepreneurship, and he is also involved in a number of consulting projects. Some of these projects include a health-focused beverage company, called The Wedge Beverage Company, and working with the First State Fintech Lab. Kyle spends most of his time as a commercial real estate broker for Patterson-Woods Commercial Properties. Here he focuses on sales and leasing while representing tenants and landlords in transactions. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware and a Masters of Business Administration from Providence College. An avid reader and listener of “all things business”, he enjoys brainstorming new ideas and business initiatives. In his spare time, Kyle can be found experiencing new restaurants or getting outdoors to be active with his dog, Jackson.

Marcie Reilly

Program Manager – Partnerships & Special Projects | Delaware Innovation Space

As the Program Manager – Partnerships & Special Projects for Delaware Innovation Space, Marcie leads DISI’s strategic engagement with universities and other partners.  Prior to joining the Delaware Innovation Space, Marcie co-founded a tech startup in the events industry after several years of commercializing technologies across the healthcare continuum.  Notably, she held multiple roles at Cleveland Clinic Innovations including Director, Global Healthcare Innovation Alliance, where she supported innovation efforts within the organization and across its global network of academic and industry partners.  Prior to that, Marcie brought biomaterial and cardiovascular products to market in several product development engineering roles at Kensey Nash Corporation, now part of DSM Biomedical.  Marcie holds a Master’s of Science and Bachelor’s of Science in Materials Engineering from Drexel University.

Debra Travers

Entrepreneur in Residence | Delaware Innovation Space

Deb Travers is an accomplished strategic healthcare executive and entrepreneur with diverse and progressive product development experience in global pharmaceutical and biomedical companies ranging from start-up to Fortune 500. She has bridged the worlds of science and commercialization with a 30+ year track record of success in bringing new products which meet customer needs from concept through technical development, launch and life cycle.  For the past 5 and a half years, she was CEO of PolyAurum, a preclinical stage biotechnology company spun out of the University of Pennsylvania which is developing gold nanoparticles to for treat difficult cancers.  She joined The Innovation Space as an EIR in May 2021.

Mike Patterson, MBA

Entrepreneur in Residence | Delaware Innovation Space

Mike currently serves as Entrepreneur in Residence for Delaware Innovation Space. Mike is a repeat deep tech entrepreneur who has served as Founder, CEO, and COO for companies in nanotechnology, advanced materials, sensors, and healthcare. Mike has over 20 years of experience across startup companies and multinational corporations leading organizations and teams in Innovation, Business Development, Product Management, Operations, and Change Management. Mike is a TechConnect National Innovation Award winner, holds an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, an A.B. in History of Science from Princeton University, completed the National Science Foundation I-Corps Technology Commercialization program at Stanford University, and is a Certified Patent Valuation Analyst.

Will Cruz

Entrepreneur in Residence | Delaware Innovation Space

Will Cruz currently serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Delaware Innovation Space. Will is a proven entrepreneur and global investor committed to accelerating innovation returns and venture funding through corporate and institutional capital.  He is recognized for building exceptional founder talent and supporting them as they validate their start-up concepts.  Will’s experience stems from being a 5x entrepreneur with meaningful exits and as an Entrepreneur in Residence to several notable universities around the globe. 

Todd Wallach, MBA

Entrepreneur in Residence | Delaware Innovation Space

Todd currently serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence for the Delaware Innovation Space. Todd has over 30 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur, consultant, board member, advisor, and seasoned senior executive in Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Devices/Diagnostics, and Spacecraft/Space Systems. He has started and built innovative companies, including raising over $75M in capital and $2M in grant funding.  He has led companies from the “earliest signal” – from development through full worldwide commercialization.  Todd is a member of the investment committee of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Associate Editor of the Journal of Translational Medicine, member of The Explorer’s Club, and participated in the NIH I-Corp Program.  Todd holds a BSME from Purdue University, MBA from Rider University, Masters of Biotechnology from UPenn, and Masters of Science in Engineering from UPenn School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wharton School of Business.

Gail Ball

Entrepreneur in Residence | Delaware Innovation Space

Gail serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence where she brings her vast knowledge and networks of investors, investment philosophy, and financial expertise to help assist our startups.  Most recently, in her role as Associate Director, Horn Entrepreneurship, University of Delaware, she is leading the creation of a new Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative.  As employee #23 of venture capital industry disruptor, Alumni Ventures Group, she was the Founding Managing Partner of Chestnut Street Ventures and the AVG Women’s Fund and AVG Social Impact Fund for which she raised nearly $20MM and invested in over 75 companies across all sectors and stages.  In industry, she served as COO of The Bancorp Bank, the innovative banking solution provider for the most recognizable names in digital banking. She also filled executive roles at PNC, Chase, Capital One, and NCO Financial Systems. In addition, Gail headed the Payments Studies Group at the Richmond Fed and served as Board Member and Risk Committee Chair at Kompanion, Inc., one of Central Asia’s largest microfinance institutions. Gail earned her BS in Economics, Finance, and Statistics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Board of Directors

Charles Riordan, Ph.D.

Chair, Board of Directors | Delaware Innovation Space
Vice President of Research, Scholarship, and Innovation | University of Delaware

Dr. Riordan is responsible for advancing the University of Delaware’s research enterprise, including oversight of six University-wide research institutes. He is an inorganic-organometallic chemist whose research is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Alexa Dembek, Ph.D.

Secretary, Board of Directors | Delaware Innovation Space
Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer | DuPont

Dr. Dembek joined DuPont in 1991 as a research chemist and currently is the Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer for DuPont. Over her career, Alexa has held a diverse set of roles that have included global business leadership and a broad range of end-to-end innovation experiences.

Jeff Bullock

Treasurer, Board of Directors | Delaware Innovation Space
Secretary of State | State of Delaware

Jeffrey W. Bullock was sworn in as Delaware’s 80th Secretary of State on January 21, 2009 and re-confirmed by the Delaware Senate on January 18, 2017. As Secretary of the most diverse department in state government overseeing nearly twenty different agencies.

Dennis Assanis, Ph.D.

President | University of Delaware

Dr. Assanis is the 28th President of the University of Delaware. He was elected to the position by the UD Board of Trustees and took office in June, 2016. Dr. Assanis is a distinguished educator, academic leader, scholar and expert in internal combustion engines and energy systems.

Albert Shields

Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy | State of Delaware

Albert Shields currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy for Governor John Carney.  In this role, Albert oversees a team of policy advisors, both within the Office of the Governor and in Delaware’s state agencies, who are responsible for developing and implementing the policy priorities of the Governor.

Alexander Khutorsky

Director, Mergers & Acquisitions | DuPont

Alex is a Director at DuPont, where he works with the company’s many businesses to help develop and execute on portfolio strategies.  Prior to joining DuPont in 2019, Alex was an investment banker and corporate attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions. Over the course of his career, he has advised business leaders and entrepreneurs pursing a diverse set of business models across a broad range of industries.

Entrepreneurial Advisory Council

Cheryl Martin

Founder | Harwich Partners Former Director | ARPA-E

Saeed Amidi

Founder and CEO | Plug and Play Tech Center and Ventures Partner | Amidzad Ventures

Michael Burychka

Founder and CEO | IP Group, Inc.

John Carlisle

Director | Chain Reaction Innovations at Argonne National Lab

Frederick (Rick) Jones

Partner | BioAdvance

Purnesh Seegopaul

General Partner | Pangaea Ventures

Ben Solomon

Founder and Managing Partner | FedTech

Robert Urban

Former/Retired Global Head | Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC

Andrea Wesser-Brawner

Senior VP of Strategy and Partnerships | InBIA, International Business Innovation Association